Kathryn Bigelow Defends 'Zero Dark Thirty' Torture Scenes in Stephen Colbert Interview (Video)

During an interview Tuesday night on The Colbert Report, Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow addressed the criticism over the torture scenes in her controversial, but critically acclaimed, film.

Bigelow addressed the widespread belief that her film implies torture directly led to Osama Bin Laden's capture, saying, "the key piece of information that enabled us to find the compound in Abbottabad was in the files all along since 2001." Bigelow referred to torture itself as, "reprehensible." 

When discussing the film's alleged inaccuracies she stated, "It's a movie, and it's accurate in the way a movie can be accurate: it's 10 years compressed into two and a half hours and there are many, many tactics utilized." She went on to say that had she not included the torture scenes it would have been, "white washing history." 

"We wanted to tell the story respectfully and honestly, and since it's part of the history, we had to show a few sequences of enhanced interrogation. But again, there's many techniques that led to the compound in Abbottabad," Bigelow said.

Bigelow and her film continue to draw harsh criticism from a group of U.S. senators who called the film, "grossly inaccurate and misleading in its suggestion that torture resulted in information that led to the location of" Osama Bin Laden.

Earlier this month Bigelow wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times to defend the choices made in the film. Check out the video from last night's Colbert Report below.

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Elena Sheppard

Elena is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Mic. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Time Out New York, The New York Times Upfront, ABC News, and various travel publications. She is also a Princeton alum, a former Thailand resident, and a Brooklyn native.

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